4th February (1918)

Writing has the great advantage that the sale of your work doesn’t deprive you of it.  A painter or sculptor has the chagrin of seeing his off-spring adopted by another.  The Musician has a similar advantage over the artist or sculptor.

7. p.m. Colonel inspected the camp and found fault with everything, particularly the harness; harness is my bete noir; I simply can’t clean it. When I am home I am thinking of acquiring a set of army harness and hanging it up on a tree to rust and rot whilst I walk jeering below.

Did I tell you about the “hermit mule” that stood like a statute near the guns at Passchendaele?  The gunners used to occasionally cadge a feed for him, perhaps one in two days, yet he hung out there for a long time, his ultimate fate being unknown to me, save that he was never hit by the shells.  I heard the other day of a chap being lost in the mud up there, thrown from his horse, those who saw him being unable either to save him or find his body afterwards.  Old hands have told me that having seen part of that stunt I’ve seen things at the worst they have been or are likely ever to be.

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